Wraps and Hats for Ukrainian Babies
Doug McMillan
Prevention of hypothermia (coldness) saves lives of newborn babies. As part of Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) with skin to skin care and exclusive breast or breastmilk feeding KMC also improves nutrition, decreases infection and reduces maternal postpartum depression.
Concern that lack of measures to ensure Ukrainian babies stayed warm during conditions of war lead the International Rotary Fellowship of Healthcare Professionals (IRFHP) to act.

Funded by donations from individuals and organizations like the Canadian Neonatal Foundation, under the guidance of then IRFHP Chair John Philip and continued under current Chair Herbert Ederer, 3,500 wraps to assist skin to skin care have been provided to families through Ukrainian hospitals. Another 8,500 wraps are anticipated to be delivered in 2024. Additionally, 8,000 hats for babies knitted by British volunteers have been distributed.
We are collaborating with baby wear educators and neonatologists in Ukraine to assist training for correct usage of the wraps. An unexpected benefit is that we have been told these wraps are of particular value when there are alarms warning of missile attacks- mothers are able to run to shelters with their babies securely wrapped to their bodies.
Thanks go to many including Prof. Tetiana Znamenska, President of the Association of Neonatologists of Ukraine and Dr. Olesia Shevenko, wife of the Ukrainian ambassador to Moldova for their support.
Ukrainian babies and families are also appreciative of others including making of wraps by Babymoon Care (Geta Rasciuc) in Moldova, Heroes International (Gregg Montella) for their delivery and the Rotary e- Club of Moldova (Alexandrina Robu and Serghei Botezata)) for assisting coordination.
Donations for this or other IRFHP activities may be made through the International Rotary Fellowship of Healthcare Professional website.